How beautiful are Asian pears? I assume that you too have a close, emotional relationship with your produce that includes periodic crushes on particular varieties, or else you would probably be reading some other blog. But the Asian pears! I love the color – that tawny green – and the taste, sweet and light.
I don’t think I had ever seen an Asian pear until I lived in South Korea, where they grown in abundance – both commercially and in people’s gardens. When I moved back to the states 10 years ago – to Baltimore Washington metro – I noticed them every once in a while in high-end grocery stores. Lately, though, I see them everywhere, including at farmers market and in my weekly community supported agriculture box.
Most of the Asian Pears offers in this area are adapted from the most common South Korean and Japanese varieties, but Sudarishii Kudamomo, a farmer in Cooperstown, Pennsylania, grows five varieties harvested between September and October, and Virginia Gold, an orchard in Natural Bridge, Va. has 4000 pear trees and 14 different kinds of Asian pears.
This easy Ginger Asian Pear tart is an elegant vegan dessert that comes together in 25 minutes. It’s so simple that I find it’s perfect for adding dessert to an already complicated meal without piling on any additional stress. It’s also a sweet little breakfast for a romantic getaway since all you need to make it is a toaster oven.
- 1 sheet of frozen Pepperidge Farm puff pastry, defrosted
- 4 Asian pears, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 Tablespoon turbinado sugar, divided
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely minced
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Oil a baking sheet and set it aside.
- On a lightly-floured work surface, lay out the puff pastry and cut a square about 10 inches by 10 inches. Place the pastry on the oiled baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, use a fork whisk together the olive oil, 1 Tablespoon of the sugar, ginger, vanilla extract and cinnamon.
- Brush half of the olive oil mixture top of the puff pastry.
- Fold the edges of the pastry in on themselves to create a border.
- Layer the Asian pear slices on top of the puff pastry in three rows.
- Brush the top of the Asian pears with the other half of the olive oil mixture, and sprinkle with the rest of the turbinado sugar. Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.